Lungs are an important organ of the respiratory system as they are responsible for the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen essential for the body to function properly. How much air your lungs can hold determines the capacity of the lungs. As you age, lung capacity and functioning can decrease. Other factors like pollution, smoking, and respiratory disorders like COPD, asthma, and COVID-19 can also affect lung capacity.
For instance, when COVID-19 attacks the respiratory system, it may cause pneumonia or severe lung injury. Though recovery is possible, you may need to undergo therapy and do a doctor-recommended exercise for the lungs to improve lung capacity. Doing breathing exercises to strengthen the lungs helps in restoring diaphragm function . It even aids in reducing stress and anxiety attacks. You also get a good night’s sleep when you practice breathing exercises for the lungs.
This breathing exercise for the lungs is also called belly breathing. If you are wondering how to increase lung capacity, this exercise is a must-do as it engages your diaphragm muscles. Though it is beneficial for all, it is ideal for people suffering from COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
To practice diaphragmatic breathing, follow these simple steps.
Doing this exercise helps in improving the expansion and contraction rates of your lungs. Practice this daily for 5 to 10 minutes for effective results.
The main reason behind chronic lung conditions like asthma and bronchitis is inflamed airways. As a result, your lung is unable to absorb the fresh air and stale air gets trapped within. Consequently, you feel short of breath. This can be managed with the pursed-lip breathing exercise. It enables the airways to stay open for longer so that you can exhale stale air and your lungs may be able to take in more fresh air . It is one of the easiest breathing exercises that can be done anytime and anywhere. Inhale slowly through your nose and exhale using your pursed lips. If you inhale for 5 seconds then make sure to exhale for 10 seconds to complete this exercise.
Practicing yoga plays a significant role in improving your immune resilience especially if you are recovering from respiratory ailments . Pranayama for COVID survivors is highly recommended as it helps increase the strength of the lungs. There are different pranayama techniques such as Bhastrika, Nadi shuddhi, Bhramari, and Kapalbhati, which help in purifying your lungs.
Recent studies have revealed that the modified Bhramari exercise for lungs may play a significant role in preventing morbidity due to COVID-19 . Nadi shuddhi pranayama is similar to Anulom vilom and differs only in the fact that you hold your breath a little longer. All these breathing techniques keep your oxygen level in control and your mind calm and relaxed.Additional read: Important Things to Know About Your Lungs This World Lung Cancer Day
For people who find it difficult to breathe, using a breathing exerciser is helpful. It is a respiratory device that helps in improving the functioning of the lungs. This device improves airflow and enhances lung capacity by helping clear the nasal tract. Use it for a period of 1-2 hours twice during a day. However, do use it after consulting your doctor to understand the level you need to reach.
These breathing exercises for the lungs can help you enhance their efficiency. Apart from following the above-mentioned techniques, maintain an active and healthy lifestyle by going for brisk walks. Activities like singing and dancing also help increase your lung capacity. Isn’t that fun and healthy at the same time? However, if you face any discomfort in breathing, contact top pulmonologists on Bajaj Finserv Health. Book an in-person or an online doctor consultation to stay safe from respiratory infections.
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